Spurs director defends Levy over transfer dealings

Image: SpursWeb

Sky Sports News has reported that Tottenham executive director Donna-Maria Cullen has branded criticism of Daniel Levy’s handling of transfer dealings as “grossly unfair”.

It has long been the occupation of some fans to lay into what they feel is mishandling of the purse strings by Levy, believing he is responsible for lack of purchases. There is now just under a fortnight before the transfer window slams shut for incoming players at 17.00 on Thursday 9 August. Spurs have not bought a single player, and have angered some fans in the fact that promising youngster Reo Griffiths appears to have cancelled his contract in order to move to Lyon.

In the meantime competitors have been active in the market, with, for example, Arsenal paying Sampdoria £26 million for Lucas Torreira, Liverpool paying Roma nearly £70 million for a goalkeeper (Alisson) and Manchester City paying Leicester £60 million for Riyad Mahrez.

Is the criticism of Levy fair? He paid £30 million each for Sissoko (2016) and Lamela (2103). He then paid £42 million for Sanchez in August last year. He has also pushed forward the new multi-million pound stadium.

According to Cullen the notion that Levy is reluctant to spend is “a misconception”. During the pre-season tour of the USA Cullen told reporters “Daniel works closely with the managers and always has done. He clearly identifies targets, works to get them, and we are no different to other clubs in not necessarily being able to acquire who might be top of your list for whatever reason. There are so many other moving parts in that whole scenario.”

She went on to say “Mauricio is very relaxed. I also think there was a misinterpretation of his comments. He will say that what he said was not about going out and spending money. “Sometimes there’s a degree of frustration at how much is written that isn’t accurate. But what you get with him is he [Levy] is so focused on delivering for this club — and that’s why any of us who work around him think it’s grossly unfair. The point is if he was a chairman who came out and spoke every time there was an assertion that we weren’t comfortable with, you guys would stop listening after a while. When he does speak he does it because he’s got something to say rather than just responding. He is so modest, shy and understated and it’s never about him.”

Is Cullen right? Is the criticism unfair or is Levy holding back progression to the next level and preventing Mauricio Pochettino from getting the players he wants? Do Spurs need to sell before they buy? Who should go?

Spurs fans, have your say.

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Brian has been a Spurs supporter from around 1960, so was there for the double, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He admits to having cried when Spurs lost to Benfica in the 1962 European Cup Semi-final and to times when he could weep when watching Spurs for the past few years (but for very different reasons). Brian has been lucky enough to see greats such as Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne. During the 60s, 70s and 80s Spurs won at least one domestic trophy and one European trophy each decade (with those wonderful all white strip floodlit games). It has taken Brian more than 20 years to realise that may take a while to come back, but hope lives on.


  1. Levy purchased Sissoko and Lamela. What about soldudo, Janssen, Nkoudou. Njie Etc. Its not that he does not spend money on players but they are clearly not the managers choice but a cheaper option. Then they hardly play because the manager can see they are not Premier league standard and struggles to sell them. Lamela still has not proven his worth and flatters to deceive. Sissoko… awful buy. The fans want quality proven signings who can take us to the next level and no more excuses about early transfer deadlines. To get the best you have to pay the going rate.

  2. spot on , we will never learn while Levy , is in charge , to bloody tight another white knuckle season , hoping to stay in the top 6 , & hang on to our best players & manager again end of season , Hope i am wrong

  3. He deserves every bit of criticism he gets the transfers that are mentioned Sissoko transfer deadline day16/17 Sanchez last season deadline day so he only spends 30 to 40 million a season just last season supposed made over 300 million by using Wembley and doing well in the Champions League you now want us Daniel just spend the highest price for a ticket to watch my beloved Spurs but you are not investing in the team but Enic still has money to buy land around the stadium when you invest in football maybe the fans might not be so hard on you but until then you deserve everything you get

  4. It strikes me that as an executive director of THFC Donna Marie Cullen is hardly going to be slating the chairman for any shortcomings he may well have. In all honesty I think her statement is relatively meaningless to most Tottenham fans, who have witnessed the same repetitive behaviors from a notoriously tight-fisted leader year in year out, when it comes to actioning transfer activity. The simple fact is all to often whilst Levy hums and hars over given and proven targets; he is regularly recognised for being unwilling to pay the going rate for said players. And all to often the outcome is that these desired targets is that they invaribly they end up either signing elsewhere or he simply alienates and offends the clubs these players are representing in the first place. Levy is well known for sprouting a philosophy which rubs against the grain of how football business is done in the main. Whilst some argue he is a shrewd business tactician with a nose for a deal, others perceive him as a miserly conductor out of touch and out of sync with the orchestration of his club and the reason for Tottenhams present lack of actual success in trophy terms. There is little doubt that under Levy Spurs have excelled in the last decade to heights long forgotten – but along the way their reputation for being the nearly men of modern football perhaps eclipes any real notion of what they have actually achieved – and the greatest concern observed by pundits and fans alike is if Spurs continue to do business in this manner then a backward step seems nigh in inevitable. Maurico Pochittino already highlighted the need for Tottenham to re-evaluate the way they conducted business and the need to assert their ambitions in the right way, however it seems thus far his practicable and intelligble common-sense understanding is clear to everyone but the chairman himself, and the opportunity that should be seized simply threatens to disappear. No one is denying the impossibility of trying to financially compete with the likes of either of the Manchester giants, or perhaps Chelsea. And even Liverpool and Arsenal are perhaps at a greater financial advantage than Spurs themselves but when you look at how clubs such as Everton, West Ham and newly promoted Fulham are strenghtening and improving their squads it seems foolish to ponder the question why aren’t we? Tottenham Hotspur FC sit gloriously on the verge of a new dawn with a brand new and magnificent stadium from which to launch it, but the ambition to match this notion seems so disturbingly and contrastingly at odds to this approach? It would be an un-imaginable travesty for Spurs to have come so far to let it simply fritter away into the realms of drab mediocrity, personally i just wish that notion was all the motivation and inspiration that Dan Levy needed to re-assess his tentative and over cautious approach to how Tottenham conduct business, because I can’t see Spurs continuing to rise unless they begin to so!

  5. Sorry but what has My Levy WON in his time at the club
    How many times have we come close to winning something but come up short because we didn’t buy a forward at January window or we start and finish a season with 1 forward cause My Levy likes to get his money worth out of the players and the fans hope

  6. Sorry but what has My Levy WON in his time at the club
    How many times have we come close to winning something but come up short because we didn’t buy a forward at January window or we start and finish a season with 1 forward cause My Levy likes to get his money worth out of the players and the fans hope
    Spurs will finish outside of the top 4

  7. Does everyone know we finished 3rd last season? And we’re in the champions league, again. How can anyone piss and moan about dealings, he got us Poch, and sanctioned the moves for every player in the current squad. Cynical idiots.


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